Back when I was just entering college at North Dakota State University they were a Division II powerhouse. The football team was the Team of the Decade in D-II, with 7 appearances in the Championship game, winning 5, from 1981 to 1990. There were some really good players to come out of those teams. Jeff Bentrim broke Walter Payton’s TD record and played a little in the CFL. Chad Stark and Doug Lloyd got invited to camp with some NFL teams. Stacey Robinson was on two Superbowl winning teams with the NY Giants. Phil Hansen played in three straight Superbowls with the Buffalo Bills. Casey “Gus” Bradley is the current headcoach of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars.
NDSU finally moved up from D-II, but because of the way the NCAA splits up football the Bison play in the lower tier D-I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision). During their transition years they were arguably one of the best FCS teams out there, but were ineligible for the post season. When they finally became eligible they had an off year (3-8) before starting one of the most amazing runs in post season history of any college football team at any level. In 2010 they lost a heartbreaking overtime game at Eastern Washington, the eventual National Champion. Since then they haven’t lost a post season game, winning the last 5 FCS National Championships.
Many people around here consider the 2013 team to be the greatest FCS Football team ever constructed. They not only went undefeated throughout the season to win their 3rd consecutive championship, they did it by shocking D-I FBS Kansas State, the reigning Big 12 Champion and eventual winner of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl over Michigan.
That 2013 Bison team was loaded with talent.